Daily Money Tip: Learn to Tell the Difference Between a Manufacturer and a Store Coupon

Many stores allow the use of one manufacturer coupon and one store coupon on one item. The problem is how can you tell which one if a manufacturer coupon and which one is a store coupon to see if you can stack them?

Here is a visual tutorial on how to tell the difference. A manufacturer coupon (image below), has a barcode that starts with a number 5. Other Manufacturer coupons starts with a number 9 but those are the minority.  Another telling tale of a manufacturer coupon is that they have additional wording on the face of the coupon telling the retailer where to mail this coupon for reimbursement.

Store coupons usually don’t usually start with a number five.  they also don’t include any wording on the face of the coupon telling the retailer how to get reimbursed.  Another telling tale of store coupons is that they will say: Good at “X” store only.  That’s because if you were to take this coupon to another store and try to use it the register would not be able to read the store’s coupon bar-code and provide you a discount.  The bar-code for this coupon only works at the store that issued the coupon.

Here are two examples of store coupons so you can visualize the differences.  The first is a Target store coupon

The second is a Walgreens store coupon.

I hope this helps clear some of the confusion regarding manufacturer and store coupons.  If you have any more questions, make sure to leave a comment with it.

Have a topic you would like address in the Daily Money Tip? Send me an email with your burning question. Read previous Money Tips here.

Thank you for reading the Daily Money Tip: Money Management for the Time Deprived.

Share This Post


  • Great info for newbies, but what about the coupons that say Manufacturers Coupons on them AND have a Target logo (like when you print them from the Target.com website)? Most other stores will not take them even though I could’ve printed them directly from coupons.com WITHOUT the Target logo? I’ve also seen these kinds of coupons on coupons.com with Wal-Mart and Rite-Aid logos on them, too. I’ve couponed for a long time and still don’t have a good answer from anyone as to if they can/should be accepted by other stores.

  • T

    I have used a coupon from the Walgreens’ Diabetes and You Magazine at CVS before. It starts with the number 5, but it says redeemable only at… It was the colgate coupon, and the store employee took it. I don’t remember if it beeped.

  • Rachael

    I normally can tell the difference, but I am so confused with some Kraft coupons I recently printed. I printed a kraft coupon out from coupons.com, I have some that are through Kraft (and coupons.com). However, the later say Reedeem at publix. The bar codes of the reedem at publix and the regular coupon match until the last four digits. Both have retailer information on how to redeem. They look exactly a like except for the “reedem at publix” in the top left. Is it possible to redeem them elsewhere? – I’m trying to use them on the HT Doubles! THANKS